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SPECIAL FEATURE Technology and Wesgro. This geographic concentration will focus on medical technology. As things stand, the medical industry is quite widely spread around the greater Cape Town area. One of the bestknown companies is Real World Diagnostics, which is in Brackenfell. It makes rapid In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) test kits for drugs, pregnancy, malaria and HIV. The Real World Development Service does research and development and feasibility studies. The three examples from the introduction to this article are based in: • University of Cape Town and Observatory: A cheap plastic heart valve was developed by the Christiaan Barnard Cardiothoracic Surgery Department of the university and the company making the valves is Strait Access Technologies, with headquarters in Observatory. This extraordinary device will undergo clinical trials in 2018. The valve is inserted through a small incision and travels into position propelled by a balloon. It will assist millions of people with rheumatic heart disease. • Faure, between Blue Downs and Khayelitsha: Research on radiation treatment of cancer using Gold Nano particles is happening at iThemba LABS, a National Research Foundation facility. In 2017, iThemba LABS celebrated three decades of operating the Separated Sector Cyclotron (SSC). The SSC produces accelerator-based radiopharmaceuticals and enables the study of the internal structure of atomic nuclei. • Wynberg: Posture support wheelchairs and positioning devices that allow greater independence and participation of disabled people are made by Shonaquip. In 2016 Shonaquip won the Social Enterprise in the Premier’s Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards (PERA). Together with the Uhambo Foundation, Shonaquip forms a social enterprise that makes equipment that caters for the particular needs of disabled people. Buggies and wheelchairs made to modular design make it much easier to customise the product, adjusting for the needs of the user and the terrain. Established in 1992 by Shona McDonald, Shonaquip won an innovation award at the Design Indaba (2014) for the Madiba2Go Buggy and the ECIC/Cape

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Chamber of Commerce Exporter of the Year competition in 2015. Shonaquip is one of seven companies that are currently members of the Western Cape Medical Devices Cluster, a grouping recognised and funded by the Department of Trade and Industry’s Cluster Development Programme (CDP). The CEO of the Medical Devices Cluster, Allan Howard, says that the key goals of the Cluster in its first phase are to help small businesses get certification, to promote the skills needed in device manufacturing and to settle on a combined approach to advancing the sector. A certification facility at the proposed Health Park would be of great benefit to small companies, allowing them to focus on manufacturing and sales. The Cluster was founded in 2016 with the assistance of several bodies: Wesgro, the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the National Department of Science and Technology and Kaiser Economic Development Partners. The cluster is the first of its kind in the province. The Western Cape’s other two universities also have companies which focus on the medical or biomedical sector. An example is AzarGen Biotechnologies which was founded by a Stellenbosch University graduate. In partnership with NYSE-listed iBio Inc, the company will develop surfactant protein to treat neonatal respiratory disease syndrome. According to Wesgro, 93% of medical device products are currently imported.

WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2018

Western Cape Business 2018  

The 2018 edition of Western Cape Business is the 11th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2005, has estab...

Western Cape Business 2018  

The 2018 edition of Western Cape Business is the 11th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2005, has estab...

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